January 29, 2008

No Idle Words

Deuteronomy 32:1-6, 44-47

Let my teaching fall like ... showers on new grass.
Deuteronomy 32:2


We all have expectations-of children, parents, teachers, government officials, and many others. Few live up to them, though, and that probably means our expectations are too high or unreasonable. But then we often fail also to live up to expectations that are really quite reasonable. The result? We often disappoint ourselves.

God is refreshingly clear about what his people can expect from him once they're in the promised land. Moses speaks encouraging words in Deuteronomy 32: God is faithful and will not reject his people. Moses also speaks honest words: when Israel becomes "heavy and sleek" (v. 15), lazy in their service for God, he will allow the enemy and pestilence to consume them: "Young men and women will perish, infants and gray-haired men" (v. 25).

When the Christian religion is increasingly under pressure in the public square, be encouraged. "Though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet." When we are disappointed by the church itself, when its people and leadership become "heavy and sleek," rest assured that the Lord will pay a transforming visit.

Let's not worry much about our expectations. God's are refreshingly dependable, "like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants." Trust him today, tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.

For your comforting, honest, and dependable words, Lord, we give you thanks. May we put our complete trust in you for today and for the future. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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